Homeschooling Beginner guide

Homeschooling 101 – The Homeschooling Beginner Guide

Inside: Beginning homeschooling might feel overwhelming and scary, but with a little research and armed with some good resources for both parents and kids, you can start to carve your own path in this wonderful world of homeschooling.

In the current global climate, homeschooling has emerged as a viable and increasingly popular educational choice for many parents. If you’re new to homeschooling and wondering where to begin, this homeschooling beginner guide is tailored just for you.

While there is no perfect, universal recipe on how to homeschool, many of the basics are the same across all homeschool styles and preferences.

You might be scared to even start because you might be afraid of making mistakes, but let me tell you, beginner homeschool mistakes are something we’ve all been through, just keep an open mind about it and see them as a chance to grow and learn. This is a great start and a great example for your kids, too.

So, are you ready to start homeschooling?

Grab a notebook and pencil and start your serious research into every topic below. These are just starting points that will guide you in the right direction, so get cozy and dive in.

Homeschooling Beginner Guide

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1. Homeschooling laws

The first thing you want to do is make sure you are covered legally. What are the laws in your country or state? Start researching thoroughly.

In the United States, the homeschooling laws you must follow are those of the state where you are physically present, even if you are living there temporarily. These laws can range from no notification required to high regulation states, which demand notification, test scores, professional evaluation, and sometimes additional requirements like curriculum approval or home visits.

For expats or worldschoolers, please note that you will usually fall under the incidence of local laws if you spend more than 90 days in one country (for most countries, but there are a few exceptions).

check homeschool laws- homeschooling beginner

Global perspectives on homeschooling

Homeschooling is legal in many countries, but the regulations and acceptance levels vary significantly:

  • Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, and Ireland: These countries have the most prevalent homeschooling movements, with varying degrees of regulation‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Germany: Homeschooling is outlawed entirely‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Other Countries: In some countries, homeschooling is not legally restricted but is socially unacceptable or virtually non-existent‚Äč‚Äč.
Specific Country Insights

Please note these can change, so make sure you research these on official websites before homeschooling in these countries:

  • South Africa: Homeschooling is a legal alternative to public school, with an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 children being homeschooled‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Canada: Legal under regulating conditions with variations across provinces, catering to around 100,000 children‚Äč‚Äč.
  • United States: Legal under state-specific regulating conditions, engaging approximately 4 million children in homeschooling‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Brazil: Constitutionally legal, but pending full legalization; some states and cities have already legalized it‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Colombia: Regulated by the Ministry of Education, requiring students to pass a Public Validation Test and a State Test for college admission‚Äč‚Äč.
  • India: Legal as an alternative to the mandatory public school system, involving around 2,000 children‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Indonesia: Legal alternative to the public school system with 40,000 children homeschooled‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Israel: Legal under regulating conditions with about 500 children homeschooled as of 2016‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Russia: Legal since 1992; homeschooled children must be enrolled in a state-licensed school but do not need to pass annual exams‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Taiwan: Legal since 2011, involving around 1,000 children‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Thailand: Legal since 2004, engaging approximately 1,000 children‚Äč‚Äč.
  • United Arab Emirates: Legal as an alternative to the mandatory public school system, with about 2,000 children homeschooled‚Äč‚Äč.
  • European Countries:
    • Austria: Legal under restrictive conditions with about 2,500 children homeschooled‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Belgium: Legal under restrictive conditions; homeschooling is a constitutional right‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Czech Republic: Legal under restrictive conditions for primary school with mandatory biannual national curriculum examinations‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Denmark: Legal with inspections controlled by local district public schools or third-party inspectors‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Finland: Legal as an alternative with mandatory written and oral examinations‚Äč‚Äč.
    • France: Legal as an alternative to public school but subject to strict authorizations and yearly inspections‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Ireland: Constitutionally allowed‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Italy: Constitutionally allowed but with unknown participation numbers‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Norway: Legal under restrictive conditions‚Äč‚Äč.
    • Poland: Legal under restrictive conditions with mandatory supervision by an authorized school‚Äč‚Äč.
    • United Kingdom: Legal as an alternative to the state school system‚Äč‚Äč.

Useful websites

  • HLSDA website – search your country to see the current legal situation in your corner of the world.

2. Homeschooling styles and methods for the homeschooling beginner

To make things more difficult, there is more than one type of homeschooling. The most popular: homeschooling, unschooling, worldschooling.

They then split into more homeschooling methods according to the approach: classical homeschooling, eclectic homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Waldorf – inspired, child-led, unit studies, etc.

But you needn’t worry. You don’t need to fit your homeschooling into a box and you can definitely pick and choose whatever works for your family.

homeschooling beginner styles

Please note you can mix parts of them to make a style that fits you best. Also note that there is no ‚ÄĚone size fits all‚ÄĚ when it comes to homeschooling.

You can choose one style accross all subjects, or teach each subject in a different style.

Detailed Styles and Methods

  1. Charlotte Mason: This method, developed by 19th-century British educator Charlotte Mason, focuses on teaching children as whole persons. It emphasizes habit-building, narration, dictation, nature study, and using “living books” instead of traditional textbooks‚Äč‚Äč.
  2. Classical: Rooted in the Middle Ages, the classical method has three main stages of learning: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, divided by age. It emphasizes teaching students how to learn for themselves using tools like reason, record, relate, research, and rhetoric‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  3. Traditional/School-at-Home: This approach mirrors public school traditions within the home environment, using structured days, complete all-in-one curricula, traditional textbooks, and workbooks‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  4. Eclectic: Eclectic homeschoolers mix and match different styles and curricula to meet their individual family’s needs, often using different methods for different subjects or children‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  5. Literature-Based: This method uses engaging books and stories as the basis for teaching various subjects, expanding lessons through related discussions and activities‚Äč‚Äč.
  6. Online Schooling: This method involves lessons and assignments delivered via the internet, sometimes taught by traditional teachers, with varying levels of parental involvement‚Äč‚Äč.
  7. Unschooling: Based on the philosophy that children should be trusted to learn and pursue their own interests, unschooling has little structure and is entirely child-led‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  8. Hybrid/University Model: Combines in-person (or online) schooling for part of the week with homeschooling on other days, similar to a college model‚Äč‚Äč.
  9. Montessori: Developed by Maria Montessori, this method uses hands-on learning and self-directed activities within structured environments‚Äč‚Äč.
  10. Unit Studies: Thematic studies that integrate multiple subjects around a central theme, suitable for various age groups‚Äč‚Äč.
  11. Project-Based: Centers learning around a student-led project, fostering creativity and practical application of knowledge‚Äč‚Äč.
  12. Gameschooling: Uses educational games as the primary or supplementary teaching tool for various subjects‚Äč‚Äč.
  13. Relaxed: A flexible approach, where homeschoolers are not strictly tied to a specific curriculum, plan, or schedule‚Äč‚Äč.
  14. Waldorf: Focuses on holistic development, balancing intellectual, artistic, and practical skills, with an emphasis on spirituality and respect for all creation‚Äč‚Äč.
  15. Roadschooling: Involves schooling on the road, often associated with families who travel frequently‚Äč‚Äč.
  16. Worldschooling: Uses global travel and cultural experiences as a primary educational tool‚Äč‚Äč.
  17. DIY Curriculum: Encourages creating a personalized curriculum based on a child’s interests and family activities‚Äč‚Äč.

We prefer an eclectic homeschooling approach and we mixed child-led learning with academics. This means we choose and pick whatever works for us, without sticking to a specific type of learning.

Books to read on homeschooling and how kids learn

Click on each image to buy the book (Amazon affiliate links)

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3. Learning styles- a beginner’s guide

Learning styles are the methods through which our brain processes and retains information. These styles are generally categorized as auditory, visual, kinesthetic (hands-on), and reading/writing‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč. When we learn something we tend to prefer one style over the others, but this can vary according to each subject or concept we learn.

We learn best by using a COMBINATION of learning styles, even if we might prefer a style over others.

Identifying a child‚Äôs learning style for each subject is key to teaching them effectively. It helps in choosing the right curriculum, ensuring that children understand ideas, retain information, master concepts, and remain engaged and challenged without becoming frustrated. This approach translates to better academic performance, improved critical thinking, and more enjoyable learning experiences‚Äč‚Äč.

Start by answering these questions:

  • What kind of learner is your child?
  • What kind of learner are you?
  • Do you honestly see yourself teaching like that? Would you need outside help?

These questions will help you to choose the right materials and methods down the road.

learning style for beginner homeschoolers

Major learning styles and teaching approaches

  1. Visual Learners
    • Prefer learning through observation. Effective tools include graphics, maps, and visual aids. They benefit from written directions and enjoy art-related activities‚Äč‚Äč.
  2. Auditory Learners
    • Best learn through hearing. Teaching techniques include discussions, debates, and using songs or rhymes for memorization. They may be distracted by noise, so headphones can be helpful‚Äč‚Äč.
  3. Reading/Writing Learners
    • Excel in absorbing information through reading and writing. They enjoy creating lists and taking notes and prefer quiet environments. They are well-suited to a variety of curriculums‚Äč‚Äč.
  4. Kinesthetic Learners
    • Learn best through physical activities and hands-on experiences. They are usually in motion and may need frequent breaks during learning. Incorporating games, physical activities, and hands-on projects can be beneficial‚Äč‚Äč.
  5. Social/Interpersonal Learners:
    • Prefer learning in groups, thriving on interaction, and feedback from others‚Äč‚Äč.
  6. Solitary/Intrapersonal Learners:

Practical steps for identifying learning styles

  1. Observation and Interaction
    • Observe how your child interacts with different types of activities and materials. Pay attention to what captures their interest and how they process information.
  2. Assessment Tools
    • Utilize assessments and quizzes, like the ones Elephango provides, to help determine your child‚Äôs learning style. These tools can provide valuable insights and are often easily accessible online.
  3. Trial and Error
    • Experiment with various teaching methods and materials to see what resonates with your child. Be patient and flexible in this process.
  4. Feedback and Conversation
    • Engage in open conversations with your child about how they feel they learn best. Their input can be instrumental in understanding their learning style.

4. Learning disabilities and homeschooling

This is an aspect we sometimes forget to think about, or maybe it’s something that pops up down the road. Does your child have a learning disability?

Learning disabilities can present unique challenges in the homeschooling environment. Understanding these challenges and how to address them effectively is crucial for the educational success and well-being of children with learning disabilities.

Sparketh review monkeyandmom

It’s important to understand the range of learning disabilities, which may include dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others. Each learning disability presents its own challenges and requires specific approaches to teaching.

For example, for a child with dyslexia, incorporating multisensory techniques like using visual aids or hands-on activities can enhance their reading skills, while for a child with ADHD, implementing behavioral management techniques and creating structured routines can improve focus and organization skills‚Äč‚Äč.

Tailoring Homeschooling Approaches to Individual Needs: This involves adapting the curriculum and teaching methods based on their unique learning style and preferences. Strategies such as creating a flexible curriculum, utilizing multisensory approaches, and providing frequent feedback can help in addressing the specific strengths and weaknesses of the child‚Äč‚Äč.

Creating a Supportive Learning Environment at Home: This includes establishing a dedicated study space, clear routines and schedules, and fostering an atmosphere of understanding and encouragement. Recognizing the child‚Äôs efforts and progress is important for boosting their self-esteem‚Äč‚Äč.

Communication and Collaboration With Professionals: Effective communication and collaboration with professionals like therapists or educators are key. Building trust through open and honest communication, sharing information about the child‚Äôs strengths and challenges, and actively collaborating are essential for effective support in homeschooling children with learning disabilities‚Äč‚Äč.

Implementing Assistive Technology and Resources: Assistive technology can greatly enhance the learning experience for children with learning disabilities. This includes individualized learning tools like text-to-speech software, interactive multimedia elements to increase engagement, and tools that provide alternative means of accessing information, such as screen readers or graphic organizers‚Äč‚Äč.

Fostering a Positive Mindset and Promoting Self-Advocacy: It’s important to foster a positive mindset and promote self-advocacy. Encouraging the child to effectively communicate their needs and advocate for themselves builds resilience, assertiveness, and problem-solving abilities‚Äč‚Äč.

There are many wonderful schools and programs for families that need extra help, like HOPE from Bridgeway Academy which is great for families that need extra help (get 100$ off when you enroll using the code at the end of our article).

5. Schools for homeschoolers

It’s a myth that homeschooling means you have to deal with everything at home.

Many families choose to homeschool through charter schools, hybrid schoools, or even umbrella schools or distance schools. This is still homeschooling!

Take these steps when choosing a school:

  • Take your time to visit each school‚Äôs website. Compare what they each have to offer and see which one would be the best fit for your family.
  • Narrow it down to 2-3 options that you research more in-depth before committing to any one.
  • Read reviews, watch YouTube videos, contact families that have been enrolled there, and then write to the school with any questions you might have.
child led learning - balancing academics and feedom

Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily mean limiting education to the home environment. There are various programs and schools that can complement or even form the core of a homeschooling approach.

Umbrella Schools

Umbrella schools are private entities that homeschooling families join for additional support. Students enrolled in these schools are legally considered private school students. They are primarily used to satisfy state compulsory attendance laws.

Parents typically choose and implement their curriculum and are responsible for submitting grades. Umbrella schools conduct recordkeeping but may not assess students’ progress. They often offer access to co-ops, field trips, or enrichments but don’t provide public funding.

These schools can be established by homeschooling families and may not have a physical campus. They function similarly to homeschooling groups, offering community support and sometimes only recordkeeping services. The availability of umbrella schools varies by state‚Äč‚Äč.

teaching computer skills for kids internet safety

Hybrid Schools

Hybrid homeschooling blends traditional homeschooling with classroom education. This approach is adaptable, allowing students to learn according to their individual needs and learning styles.

Hybrid homeschooling, often offered by charter schools, combines online learning with classroom-based learning. The schedules can vary, with students attending in-person classes for part of the week and learning at home for the remainder.

This model allows for individualized learning and enables parents to tailor their child’s curriculum. However, it may present challenges for students accustomed to traditional settings and require additional costs for materials‚Äč‚Äč.

Comprehensive review of Discovering Life's Story by Joy Hakim

Distance, Public and Charter School Partnerships

These partnerships involve homeschool students enrolling in distance, public or charter schools. They offer full virtual curricula or allow parents to choose their curriculum. Families typically have access to school classes, extracurricular activities, and enrichments.

Such programs can tailor education to a child’s needs, offering a variety of resources like online classes, private tutoring, and school-based classes. They also provide support to parents in the education process and most are accredited and recognized internationally.

Parents should be cautious with online programs that offer only asynchronous learning. Distance and charter school programs available for at-home learning may allow parents to choose and implement their curriculum or mix and match between online and in-person classes. It’s crucial to evaluate these programs carefully, considering their approach to learning and the level of parental involvement required‚Äč.

But before you jump in and start studying, don’t forget about the deschooling!

6. Deschooling – homeschooling beginner

Have your children been to a regular school before? If yes, this one is for you: you need to deschool them.

What is deschooling?

It’s basically letting your kids ‚ÄĚdecompress‚ÄĚ and “relax” after attending school. They need this time to reconnect with learning and discovering things on their own, they need to “get used to not being in school”.

Deschooling is a time set aside for children and families to adapt to the change from traditional schooling to learning at home. The duration and approach of deschooling depend on the family’s specific needs. For some, it might be a couple of weeks, while for others, it becomes an integral part of their homeschooling experience‚Äč‚Äč.

It’s a great time to observe your kids and see HOW they learn the best, WHAT they like to learn about, and also the perfect opportunity for you to find out more about what this homeschooling thing is about.

deschooling for homeschool beginners

Understanding Deschooling

Children and parents who have been part of the traditional school system have certain ingrained ideals about education. Deschooling helps break the need to replicate a school-like environment at home, encouraging the creation of a new, more flexible learning atmosphere. This period offers an opportunity to understand children’s interests better and adapt the learning process accordingly‚Äč‚Äč.

Deschooling allows families to redefine what schooling means. Homeschooling provides the flexibility to teach anytime, anywhere, turning everyday experiences like grocery shopping or camping into educational opportunities. This process helps parents and children explore new possibilities beyond the traditional classroom setup‚Äč‚Äč.

Concerns and Misconceptions

  • Worries about Learning Loss: A common concern among homeschooling parents is whether their child will continue to learn effectively outside a traditional school structure. Children are naturally curious and absorb information from their surroundings. Deschooling allows parents to identify their child’s preferred learning style and tailor the educational experience around their interests and abilities, rather than adhering strictly to textbook learning‚Äč‚Äč.
  • Flexibility of Deschooling: Deschooling does not necessarily have to be a long-term process. It can be a periodic opportunity for families to recharge, reflect, and ensure that the homeschooling approach aligns with the child’s evolving interests. This flexibility allows for adjustments and adaptations in the homeschooling journey‚Äč‚Äč.

Community Involvement and Resources

Joining homeschool co-ops, connecting with other homeschooling families, and participating in online courses or community activities can be beneficial during the deschooling period.

These resources provide social interaction, shared experiences, and additional learning opportunities for both parents and children. Organizations like Outschool offer various educational courses that cater to different interests and educational needs‚Äč‚Äč.

While you diligently do your homeschooling homework, offer your kids time to deschool. Surround them with good books, board games, good documentaries and movies, and a lot of free time to get ‚ÄĚbored‚ÄĚ and let them discover learning all over again.

Books for parents to read while you “deschool”

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*Amazon affiliate links, just click on the images to check the books out.

7. Curriculum starting points for a homeschooling beginner

So we’re finally at the most interesting part of homeschooling (for me): choosing your curricula!

This actually is dependent on both your learning style, your wishes, your school of choice (in some situations), and your budget.

There are a lot of preferences you need to sort through:

  • secular homeschool curriculum (which we prefer), or Christian homeschool curriculum
  • online curricula or offline curricula
  • curricula that can be done independently by your kids or with your help.

You can choose to go with your school’s curriculum (if you have an accredited school for homeschooling) or pick your own.

There are a lot of good homeschool publishers internationally (so we have access to a wider range of learning materials).

homeschool beginner guide to curriculum

I won’t start a list about all curricula out there, because there aren’t enough words to cover all. But here are some of OUR favorite homeschool curricula to get you started.

And some of our favorite extras to help you while homeschooling:

To see what we pick each year, subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a post.

So far I’ve written about our 4th grade curriculum choices and 6th grade curriculum choices.

Points to consider when choosing a homeschool curriculum

  1. Your Homeschooling Method: Your choice of curriculum should align with your homeschooling method or a blend of methods. This could range from unschooling and nature-based curriculum to incorporating digital media. Understanding your homeschooling approach is the first step in visualizing your teaching and learning process‚Äč‚Äč.
  2. State Curriculum Standards: Understanding your state’s curriculum standards is important, especially in states with strict homeschooling regulations. Aligning your homeschool curriculum with these standards ensures that if you decide to reintegrate your child into traditional schooling, they will be on par with their peers. You can usually find these standards online‚Äč‚Äč.
  3. Child‚Äôs Learning Style: Each child has unique learning preferences and styles. Some may learn better through play and practical application, while others may prefer reading or multimedia content. Choosing a curriculum that caters to these styles can enhance the learning experience‚Äč‚Äč.
  4. Your Teaching Style: Your teaching style is just as important as your child‚Äôs learning style. The curriculum should match how you prefer to teach‚ÄĒwhether that‚Äôs hands-on activities, using multimedia resources, or traditional teaching methods. A curriculum that complements both your teaching style and your child‚Äôs learning style can lead to greater success‚Äč‚Äč.
  5. Budget Considerations: The cost of curriculum is a significant factor. While some states offer tax credits for homeschooling expenses, this is not universal. Determine what you can afford and remember that you may not need to invest heavily in a comprehensive curriculum if you plan to use supplemental resources‚Äč‚Äč.
  6. Using Free Homeschool Resources: Numerous free homeschool resources are available. These can be a great supplement to your chosen curriculum. However, if you reside in a state with strict homeschool laws, ensure that these resources meet the required standards. Free resources often require more preparation and vetting by parents‚Äč‚Äč.
  7. Online Homeschool Curriculum: Online curriculums offer flexibility, but they do not negate the parent’s role in the child’s education. Parents should still be involved in planning activities and reinforcing what is learned online‚Äč‚Äč.
  8. Detailed Guides or Samples: When evaluating curriculums, look for detailed guides or samples. These can provide a clearer understanding of what the curriculum offers and how it aligns with your educational goals and methods‚Äč‚Äč.
  9. Research and Reviews: Finally, research and read reviews from other homeschooling families about the curriculums you are considering. This feedback can provide real-life insights into how the curriculum works in a homeschool setting and how it might fit with your child‚Äôs learning style and your teaching approach‚Äč‚Äč.

7. Find like-minded people

As a complete homeschooling beginner, having people around you for support is great when you are starting out. Make sure you find the local groups, go to homeschooling meetings and try to find people you resonate with.

You can join my exclusive Facebook group as well, We are homeschoolers to keep in touch with me and other homeschool parents from around the world.

Facebook group monkeyandmom

You will come upon days that you find it hard and you feel like quitting. Being part of a tribe that gets you is very important in moments like those.

Here are several ways to connect with other homeschoolers and find the support you need:

  1. Attend Local Homeschooling Events: Participate in local homeschooling events, conferences, and workshops. These events are great opportunities to meet other homeschooling parents, share experiences, and build a support network. Don’t hesitate to start conversations and plan meet-ups in informal settings like parks or libraries‚Äč‚Äč.
  2. Online Forums and Social Media Groups: Utilize online platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find homeschooling networks in your area. You can search for groups using specific keywords related to homeschooling and your location. Additionally, Instagram can be a valuable resource when searching for homeschool-related hashtags that pertain to your region‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  3. Local Libraries or Community Centers: Many libraries and community centers host or sponsor homeschooling programs and events. These places can serve as a starting point for those new to homeschooling and looking for local groups and resources‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  4. Word of Mouth: Engage with friends, family members, and other parents you know. They may have connections to the homeschooling community and can provide useful information about local support groups or resources‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč.
  5. Sharing Resources and Experiences: Once you find a homeschooling group, it‚Äôs beneficial to exchange ideas, curriculum materials, and resources with other parents. Sharing strategies for overcoming common homeschooling challenges can also be incredibly helpful. This collaborative approach helps everyone in the group to benefit and grow‚Äč‚Äč.
  6. Local Directories and Online Resources: Explore local websites and online directories for your city or town, such as the community center, library, or chamber of commerce. These directories may have sections dedicated to homeschool groups, offering a wealth of information and contacts‚Äč‚Äč.
  7. Seek Recommendations: Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family who have experience with homeschooling. They can provide insights into local support groups and resources, including information about online or regional homeschooling conferences‚Äč‚Äč.

8. Planning your homeschooling – for a complete beginner

Once you have everything set, you know your direction, you picked your school and your curriculum, you have your books, it’s time to start planning. But first, remember this important thing:

Homeschooling is as good as you make it.

homeschool planner monkey and mom for homeschool beginners

There are many ways to go about planning your homeschool. Just looking at types of schedules, you can choose from:

  1. Traditional Five-Day Week Schedule: This schedule mirrors a typical school schedule, with academic subjects covered each day for all five weekdays. It works well with pre-planned curricula but may not utilize the full flexibility of homeschooling‚Äč‚Äč.
  2. Calendar Schedule: This schedule follows the calendar, starting the school year in January.
  3. Four-Day Week Schedule: Here, academics are covered from Monday to Thursday, leaving Friday free for activities like field trips, errands, or appointments. This schedule may require adjusting pre-made lesson plans‚Äč‚Äč.
  4. One-Subject-a-Day Schedule: In this approach, families focus on one subject each day, allowing for more in-depth study and less time refocusing. However, it may require review due to the longer time between covering subject material‚Äč‚Äč.
  5. One-Subject-a-Day-Plus Schedule: Similar to the previous method, but with certain subjects (like math or language arts) addressed every day, followed by one other subject. This allows for more repetition where needed‚Äč‚Äč.
  6. Block Schedule: Working on a fewer subjects for a long period of time. For example you can choose to do history one semester and geography the next.
  7. Loop Schedule: Picking your subjects and creating a loop to make sure you cover everything. A subject can appear more than once in your plan.
  8. Co-op-Driven Schedule: Families involved in co-ops may have their schedule influenced by co-op meetings and activities. This can be beneficial but may also limit time at home for relaxed learning‚Äč‚Äč.
  9. University-Model Schedule: Some co-ops follow a university-like schedule with classes meeting twice a week. This covers all subjects with expert teachers but may not suit all students‚Äč‚Äč.
  10. Shift-Work Schedule: For families with parents working unusual shifts, homeschooling can be coordinated around the working parent’s schedule. This allows for flexibility and maximizes family time‚Äč‚Äč.
  11. Extracurricular and Class-Driven Schedule: Prioritizes extracurricular activities and classes, organizing academics around these outside commitments‚Äč‚Äč.
  12. What-We-Need-to-Do and What-We-Want-to-Do Schedule: Focuses on project-based, interest-based, or unschooling approaches, organizing the week around what needs to be done for projects or interests‚Äč‚Äč.
  13. Alternating Home/Out Schedule: Balances days at home with days out for classes, sports, and other activities. This is especially useful in busy families or those with young children‚Äč‚Äč.

Tips for creating a homeschool schedule:

  • Understand Your Family’s Needs: Start with a broad view of your weekly and monthly activities, including household routines and responsibilities.
  • Flexibility: Be prepared to adapt your schedule as needed. Consistency may be important, but flexibility is a key advantage of homeschooling.
  • Gradual Start: Begin with one academic subject at a time, adding more gradually, especially if you are transitioning from traditional schooling or starting a new school year‚Äč‚Äč.

Then comes the matter of the medium for planning. You can choose whatever works best for you and your family from online planners to offline, to making your own (you can download ours from the Resource Library) or just keeping a regular notebook as your planner.

While I love the flexibility of homeschooling. I also found it exremely important to have a homeschool planner in our homeschool.

When Marc was little we loved using desktop planners, and I am offering free printable versions of these to my subscribers:

9. Keep calm and homeschool on – you’re doing OK

Despite all the planning, researching, and carefully chosen materials, you will inevitably have difficult days in your homeschooling journey.

We all have them, even the veteran homeschoolers.

Don’t expect everything to go according to plan. Some days are harder than others. Some days you won’t be able to ‚ÄĚachieve‚ÄĚ much. And it’s all OK as long as you keep doing your thing. Consider that you have 365 days in a year. Doing just a little bit every day adds up to a lot in one year. And skipping a day here and there won’t mean your children aren’t learning.

Keep
  1. Relax and Reset: Recognize that not every day will be perfectly productive. It’s okay to have days where less gets done. Use these days to relax, reset, and recharge. This approach can prevent burnout for both you and your child.
  2. Flexible Scheduling: Adopt a flexible approach to your homeschool schedule. If a day isn’t going as planned, it’s fine to shift focus to different activities or subjects that may be more engaging at that moment.
  3. Incorporate Interest-Led Learning: On tough days, pivot to learning activities that align with your child’s interests. This can reignite their enthusiasm and make learning feel more like fun than work.
  4. Supportive Literature: Consider reading books that offer advice and encouragement for homeschooling parents. I offered some examples in this article.
  5. Follow Inspiring Blogs and Podcasts: Blogs or podcasts can offer daily inspiration and practical tips for homeschooling families. My favorite podcast is The Strike A Balance Podcast for Working Homeschool Moms.
  6. Watch Educational Documentaries: Sometimes, switching to educational documentaries can be both relaxing and informative. Platforms like CuriosityStream offer a variety of documentaries that can cater to different interests and age groups.
  7. Practice Mindfulness and Self-Care: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your routine. Techniques like meditation, yoga, or simply taking a quiet walk can help in managing stress and maintaining a positive outlook.
  8. Join Online Forums and Groups: Engage with online homeschooling communities for support and advice. Hearing from others who have faced similar challenges can be reassuring.
  9. Reflective Journaling: Keep a journal to reflect on your homeschooling journey. Writing about your experiences, challenges, and successes can provide perspective and help in identifying strategies that work best for your family.
  10. Celebrate Small Wins: Focus on the progress made, no matter how small. Celebrating little achievements can boost morale and motivate both you and your child.

Here are some books, blogs, documentaries and techniques for those days when you can’t get anything done.

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In conclusion

As you start your homeschooling journey, remember that you’re stepping into a role that’s both challenging and incredibly rewarding. It’s okay if not every day is perfect or if you don’t stick to the plan. What’s important is that you’re giving your child a unique and personalized education.

Embrace the flexibility of homeschooling. It allows you to adjust your teaching methods and curriculum to fit your child’s needs. Remember, your approach can change and grow just as your child does.

Don’t forget to lean on your homeschool community for support. Whether it’s local groups or online forums, connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be a huge help.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You’re doing an amazing job. Every bit of effort you put in makes a difference in your child’s life. Keep going, and enjoy the journey ‚Äď you’re doing just fine. Happy homeschooling!

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2 Comments

  1. Buna ziua! Copii care fac Homeschooling in Romania , mai primesc alocatie de la stat? va multumesc pentru raspuns

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